Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2014

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LAS VEGAS HISTORY:

Pop quiz: How well do you know the classic neon signs of Vegas?

It’s time for a Las Vegas history test, presented one letter at a time.

Pictured here are letters from seven signs on display at the Neon Museum, 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North. The museum is home to more than 150 signs from Las Vegas casinos and other businesses, including hotels, restaurants and wedding chapels.

How well do you know your neon? Scroll through these photos to see if you can tell which casinos or hotels these letters came from. The slide following each letter will contain the answer.

    • An "R" from the Stardust sign.

      ????????

      Hint: It's a Cold War classic.

    • Cars park outside the Stardust in 1958. At the time of the casino's opening, it was the largest hotel and casino and also had the largest pool in town.

      Stardust

      Signage didn’t get much more spectacular than the Stardust’s when the casino opened nearly 55 years ago.

      “The brilliant Stardust sign that stretches across the hotel's vast facade is in itself immense,” the Sun reported on the casino’s opening day in 1958. “Weighing 129 tons, the sign is 216 feet long and 37 feet high. Installation utilized 32,000 feet of wiring, 7,100 feet of neon tubing and 11,000 incandescent lamps.”

      The Stardust was imploded in 2007, but parts of its signage — including several of the “Atomic”-font letters from its façade — live on at the Neon Museum.

    • An "H" from the Binion's Horseshoe sign.

      ????????

      Hint: The owner's initials were B.B.

    • Binion's Horseshoe

      The Fremont Street landmark once owned by Benny Binion has been known as Binion’s Gambling Hall since 2004, but it had been called the Horseshoe for more than 53 years before that. The Neon Museum is home to several Horseshoe signs, including one containing dozens of interwoven H’s, like those pictured in this archive photo.

    • The "A" in the Algiers sign.

      ????????

      Hint: The name is similar to the fictional resort in the movie "Casino."

    • Algiers Hotel

      "It is a wonderful piece of old Las Vegas," UNLV history professor Hal Rothman said in 2001 of the Algiers. "It's one of the things that if in another city, it would become a historical place. ... It's the archetypical 1950s style of the Las Vegas hotel."

      But the Algiers wasn’t in another city, and now it’s not in Las Vegas, either. It’s been demolished. The property is part of the Fontainebleau site.

      Extra credit if you knew the name of the resort in "Casino." It was the Tangiers.

    • An "R" from the old Sahara sign.

      ????????

      Hint: When this classic Strip resort reopens, its new name will start with a three-letter acronym. R won't be one of those letters.

    • Sahara

      The 1,720-room casino resort on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue opened in 1952 and closed in 2011. SBE, the resort’s ownership group, plans to reopen it as the SLS Las Vegas in 2014.

    • An "S" from the Barbary Coast sign.

      ????????

      Hint: The name has changed, but the building is still standing. It's near Bally's.

    • The Barbary Coast was built by Michael Gaughan and opened in 1979.

      Barbary Coast

      Opened in 1979, the Barbary Coast was rebranded Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall in 2007. But another name change is coming, as plans call for the casino to close in February to undergo refurbishment. The establishment, on the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, is expected to open under a different name in 2014.

    • The letter "C" from the La Concha sign.

      ????????

      Hint: The lobby of this motel has had two addresses.

    •  The La Concha Motel, 1963.

      La Concha Motel

      The motel was closed in 2003, but more than its sign remains standing. The establishment’s shell-shaped, concrete lobby was moved to the Neon Museum site, where it now houses the visitor’s center. La Concha was on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, north of Desert Inn Road.

    • A "T" from the Tropicana sign.

      ????????

      Hint: T is the first letter of this Strip resort's name.

    • Tropicana

      Owners of the Tropicana restyled the resort’s logo a few years ago using a South Florida deco tropical motif in a red tint. Before the changes occurred at the venerable south Strip resort, though, the lettering on the canopy was aqua.

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